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How Can I Help Someone With Anxiety

Ask Questions And Listen

How to Help Someone With Depression or Anxiety

Once youve helped your loved one feel safe, you can begin to go deeper in conversation and explore some of the root causes of their anxiety. Dont force a conversation if its not the right time. Let them know that youre available and interested in talking, but let them call the shots about when and where and what.

Remember: The goal here isnt to fix or solve or get rid of the problem. Its to offer support and compassionand one of the best ways to do that is by asking questions and listening intentionally.

Here are some examples of questions you can ask:

  • When did you begin to feel this anxiety?
  • Was there a specific person or event that triggered it?
  • How can I support you today?
  • What do you need from me right now?
  • Is there anything thats stressing you out that I could help you say no to?

And after you ask these questions, just shut up and listen. Look them in the eye. Nod your head. Validate what they share with simple responses like, Yeah, that sucks. Affirm their vulnerability by saying things like, Wowthank you for sharing that with me, or Im so proud of you for opening up about this.

Most of all, dont give advice unless they specifically ask for it. And even then, check twice before offering your opinions.

Support Her In Her Decision To Seek Therapy

Traditionally, society has had a dim view of therapy. Fortunately, this view is changingand quickly. More people today are seeking professional help for psychological and emotional challenges than ever before. Thats because the negative stigma associated with seeking professional help is diminishing, as well as, more and more people are seeing the benefits of therapy.

Moreover, professional therapy approaches and skillsets are improving as independent research on their effectiveness improves.

For example, independent research led to disproving the chemical imbalance cause of anxiety and has supported the effectiveness of therapy. Because of the recent strides in research and techniques, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is now recognized as the Gold Standard for anxiety disorder and depression resolution.

If your loved one wants to pursue therapy for anxiety disorder, encourage her to proceed and support her as she continues. Overcoming anxiety disorder takes time and effort, which can be discouraging at times. Encouraging her to continue can help her work through times of discouragement. Lasting success occurs for those who persevere.

Work With Their Emotions

The key thing to remember is that anxiety is not a rational disorder. Therefore, a rational response will most likely not help, especially during a moment of distress. Instead, try to work with the emotions. Accept that they feel anxious and, rather than being direct, be patient and kind. Remind them that while they may feel distressed, the feeling will pass.

Work with the irrational thoughts and acknowledge that the person is worried. For example, try something like: I can understand why you feel that way, but I can assure you that its just your anxiety. It isnt real.

Recommended Reading: How Do I Reduce Anxiety Naturally

Dont Say: Why Arent You Seeing A Therapist/on Medication

Theres nothing wrong with showing concern for a friend, but be careful it doesnt come across as accusatory. Suggesting your friend should be doing something can create a sense of shame if they arent, or make them feel like theyre being judged. If they do need to see a mental health counselor or take medication, those are decisions they need to make on their own and at their own pace.

Ask Your Friend What They Need

How Can I Help Someone with Anxiety?

Different people with anxiety have different ways of managing. Meditation and breathing exercises, for instance, are helpful for a lot of people and may be helpful for you but they may not help your friend. Some people with anxiety need to do something active, like a run or aerobics. Ask your friend what works for them and how you can help.

Also Check: What Scent Helps With Anxiety

Remind Your Loved One That Theyre Worthy Of Being Well

One of the most important things you can do to help a friend whos struggling with anxiety is remind them that theyre worth being well. They deserve to live a full, rich and joyful lifefree from the crippling restraints of anxiety. Were complex creatures with many layers of needs, including:

  • A nutritious diet
  • Close, supportive and intimate relationships
  • A broader sense of community and belonging
  • Meaningful work
  • Healing from past trauma

If your loved one is struggling in any of the above areas, encourage them to take steps to get well. Try a fitness class together. Cook some healthy recipes. Help them dream about a new job opportunity. If theyre not interested in joining you, set an example and seek to begin your own wellness journey. Sometimes our loved ones will follow the roads that weve carved for ourselves. Whatever area need some attention, keep reminding your loved one that theyre worthy of a better life.

Tip : Distinguish Between Solvable And Unsolvable Worries

Research shows that while youre worrying, you temporarily feel less anxious. Running over the problem in your head distracts you from your emotions and makes you feel like youre getting something accomplished. But worrying and problem solving are two very different things.

Problem solving involves evaluating a situation, coming up with concrete steps for dealing with it, and then putting the plan into action. Worrying, on the other hand, rarely leads to solutions. No matter how much time you spend dwelling on worst-case scenarios, youre no more prepared to deal with them should they actually happen.

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Prevalence Of Anxiety And Depression In Men

On average, one in 8 men will have depression and one in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives.

Men are less likely to experience anxiety and depression than women. They are also less likely to talk about it. This increases the risk of their anxiety or depression going unrecognised and untreated.

Untreated depression is a high risk factor for suicide. In Australia, there are about 3,000 suicides each year. Around 75% of people who take their lives are men, with an average of almost 7 men taking their lives every day.

Its important to remember that anxiety and depression are conditions, not weaknesses, and effective treatments are available.

and depression not only for you, but for your friends and family. Visit Beyond Blue to find out more about anxiety.

What Does Anxiety Feel Like

SUPPORT: How can I help someone with anxiety and stress?

According to Bourne, while people may experience anxiety in different ways, in many cases it affects a person’s entire being psychologically, physically, and behaviorally and it crosses over into something truly distressing.

Psychologically, anxiety involves subjective feelings of uneasiness or apprehension, he says. Physically, anxiety might include bodily sensations such as rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, dry mouth, or sweating. And behaviorally, it could lead a person to avoid ordinary situations, stop communicating about feelings, or fail to make decisions.

In its most extreme form, anxiety can cause you to feel detached from yourself or even fearful of dying, going crazy, or thinking irrationally, Bourne adds.

Read Also: Which Type Of Magnesium Is Best For Anxiety

Be The First Positive Thing They See Or Hear

The quality of a persons day can be decided within the first five minutes of waking up, explains Robin Haslam, national and international addiction and mental health counselor, and General Manager of 1000 Islands Wellness. If you know someone who is feeling especially anxious during this quarantine, find a way to make sure the first moments of their day are positive. Send them a text bright and early, or before you go to bed so they can see it when they wake up. Its critical for those feeling anxious to know that theyre not alone.

How To Help People With Anxiety

This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 98% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 99,470 times.

If you know someone with anxiety, you may know that it can be a crippling disorder of emotion that can leave the nervous individual feeling exhausted and powerless.XTrustworthy SourceMedlinePlusCollection of medical information sourced from the US National Library of MedicineGo to source Fortunately, a lot can be done to help individuals cope with and treat anxiety.

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Anxiety Can Be Triggered By Different Things

Different situations and environments can bring on anxiety. Public places, meeting people, work and social events can be very anxiety-inducing for some people. If your friend has social anxiety, they might be worried that people are going to laugh at them, or that they will say or do something embarrassing. They will probably be worrying about it before, during and after the event. So you can see that its a very intrusive condition.

Guide Her Back To Reality

SUPPORT: How can I help someone with anxiety and stress ...

People with anxiety tend to greatly exaggerate the difficulty of a task and the horrible outcome if they fail, Wehrenberg says.

What you can do is get real with your friend or loved one. Shes worried about what could possibly happen. Ask her what will probably happen, she says, because when you bring people a little bit into reality, they are more able to shake off the fear.

Read Also: How To Cure Performance Anxiety

Tips To Manage Anxiety And Stress

Coping Strategies

Try these when you’re feeling anxious or stressed:

Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress

For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity , or a combination of the two.

  • 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
  • Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
  • Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
  • Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find its more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
  • Recruit an exercise buddy. It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
  • Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.


If you are the parent of a college-aged child with an anxiety disorder, here are some tips to help with managing his or her anxiety.

Youll Facilitate Your Friend By Finding Pleasant Walks To Try And Do Along

The additional natural, the better. Some individuals would possibly realize it is easier to comply with this if they not feel that you just are doing it just for them.

Please dig deep and realize why it edges you, too and share this along with your friend.

Allow them to apprehend that you will facilitate one another.

Diet affects mood. Many people dealing with the feelings that come with anxiety or depression find it difficult to find the drive to prepare and consume meals.

If youve got the capability, cook a touch bit additional after you create your dinner and drop it spherical to them.

Making a batch of frozen meals once a week that your buddy can cook quickly and effectively may make the practical part of their life a little less stressful for them.

Nutritional deficiencies are associated with sad emotions. If you can assist them with increasing the nourishment in their diet, it will make it easier for them to feel a little more uplifted.

Read Also: How To Stop An Anxiety Spiral

Dont Say: I Know What You Mean I Had A Panic Attack When I Saw Seattle Rent Prices

Panicking about the absurd cost of that tiny studio apartment makes sense because you need a roof over your head and cant magically increase your salary. Panicking about taking a bus because youre afraid of having a panic attack on said bus doesnt.

Theres a difference between the uncomfortable but rational anxiety we all get in stressful situations and the sometimes debilitating but illogical anxiety super anxious people like me get in situations that arent actually stressful or threatening.

People with anxiety disorders experience anxiety over things others wouldnt and with such intensity that it interferes with our ability to function and do things we enjoy. So unless you have a diagnosable anxiety disorder, comparing your anxiety to someone elses isnt helpful, and it can make us feel like youre minimizing our experiences.

Develop An Action Plan For Anxiety And Depression

How To Help Someone with Anxiety

Your action plan for anxiety and depression will cover a wide range of options. The plan can include exercise, stress management and how to improve your sleep. You may be referred to a psychologist who can help you address things like negative thinking and how to manage difficulties in your relationships.

Some people think its weak to admit theyre going through a tough time, but if you have anxiety or depression, you cant just snap out of it or pull yourself together. Theres more to it than that.

If you think you may have anxiety or depression, and want to take action, start by talking to someone you trust keeping it to yourself can make things worse. Discuss your situation with a friend, partner, family member a colleague or your GP.

Beyond Blue has put together information about how men can create an action plan.

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What Can You Do To Help Someone Suffering From Sadness And Anxiety

While anxiety and depression arent constant, they will manifest equally.

For example, you could notice that your buddy avoids going out and socializing with other people occasionally.

It becomes immediately apparent when your acquaintance ceases to participate in activities they previously loved.

Each anxiety and depression have physical symptoms. Anxiety will cause the guts to race and changes in the respiratory.

Your friend World Health Organization feels anxious would possibly become perspiring and shaky.

Once somebody feels depressed, their speech and movements could become slower or quicker.

Their uptake habits could include modification, and their energy levels could drop. once somebody feels anxious or depressed, they may struggle to concentrate.

Unit everyday things will facilitate somebody with depression or anxiety, such as taking a walk.

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